“RESEMBLANCES” – a Cross-Cultural Filmmaking Workshop
Short Description and Goal
Bellingham, Washington Sister Cities held an event in which Bellingham Sister Cities and their sister city partnerships screened videos that their international teams produced. They used a translator program to overcome any language barrier, WhatsApp and Instagram to communicate with distant group members in other time zones. Good communication was essential as they encouraged each other to obtain still photos and video clips that fit their vision of lifestyle and geographic resemblances between their various countries.
Three teams of 14 teenagers worked together to create videos around the theme “Resemblances.”Students “met” in late April with an orientation via ZOOM. Students used the cloud-based software WeVideo.comto edit their movie projects. Each of the three groups had at least three different countries and languages represented – a great example of sister city cooperation.
The event took a week and consisted on series of workshops held on Zoom. Students collaborated in different groups under surveillance of Tom Flint, founder and facilitator of Filmbuilding.org, and Lauren McClanahan, a Western Washington University professor and director of the Bellingham Youth Media Project.
Detailed process on the event can be found in this report.
Resources This Project Needed
This collaborative activity between Filmbuilding, the Bellingham Youth Media Project and the Bellingham Sister Cities Association was very successful due to the enormous efforts of the 14 students, the teachers who recruited them and the parents who helped the participants gather video material.
Five typical comments from the participants’ program evaluations include:
- “It was super cool to see how alike we all are, despite living so far away from one another.”
- “I enjoyed talking to people with different cultures. I had fun explaining my culture to everyone else because it made me understand my culture a bit more.”
- “Through communication with friends, I was able to discover wonderful things about the city, which also helped improve my English ability.”
- “Working with people from other cultures is something that is of interest to me, and something I want to do more often!”
- “[I discovered] That there is always a way to make other people understand you. Working together is key.”
Social Media Link(s)
To contact Tom Flint of filmbuilding.org, please write to him at
Level / Project Complexity /
- Bellingham, Washington
- Port Stephens
Sizes of Participating Cities
• North America